Board of Education Briefs from the August 17, 2015 Meeting

First Student prepared for upcoming school year

First Student prepared for upcoming school year

August 17, 2015

Board of Education Business Meeting Briefs

The District 99 Board of Education held its regular business meeting on August 17, 2015.

Highlights of the meeting:

Report from Bus Company – Area General Manager from First Student Tim Stieber reported about his organization and its preparedness to provide transportation to District 99 for the upcoming school year. Stieber shared that First student operates 250 vehicles out of the Westmont lot and has 300 employees. In addition to District 99, First Student provides transportation to Districts 58 and 68. First Student uses a routing system software called “Versatrans,” which allows for better management and accuracy of routes. Stieber shared that he is confident that his team of drivers is ready for the start of school, but also acknowledges that transportation is a challenge and not always perfect. For example, the number of riders they need to accommodate can be unpredictable in the first few weeks of school.  “Starting out we’re in great shape right now for drivers,” noted Stieber, who added that 100% of District 99’s routes are covered by permanent drivers. Board President Dr. Nancy Kupka thanked Stieber for addressing the Board’s concerns, and noted that she has been seeing buses around town practicing the routes.

2015-16 Tentative Budget report – District 99 Controller Mark Staehlin presented the tentative operating budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The proposed budget will be on display for a month; the Board will vote to adopt it at its next business meeting on September 21, 2015. The proposed budget is a balanced one; revenues exceed expenses and transfers by approximately $500,000.  Staehlin stated it is necessary to rebuild the reserves after having an operating loss of more than $1.0 million in 2014-15.  Transfers from operating funds will be directed to pay off long-term debt obligations. “About 1/3 of our long-term debt obligations are paid from operations rather than debt service levies,” noted Staehlin, “This provides relief to taxpayers in the District.” The budget also mirrors the district’s strategic goals and directly supports student achievement. Staehlin proposed financing life safety projects with bonds to add stability to the district’s operating funds, given the uncertainty surrounding State funding. Those projects will be identified next month. Staehlin also shared that due to a new fee waiver application and verification process, the district expects that the collections of fees will improve by as much as 10%. Please see the full budget and highlights here.

Board actions taken – Board members unanimously approved the consent agenda, which included continued participation in grant programs. The tentative budget was also approved.

To find additional information from the meeting:

Upcoming Board Meetings:

  • September 14, 2015 – Workshop Meeting at the ASC, 6:30 p.m.
  • September 21, 2015 – Business Meeting at the ASC, 7:30 p.m.

This publication is for information purposes only; minutes approved by the Board serve as the official meeting record.